If You Are Undecided About Therapy…

You may have questions or reservations about starting Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Think about the following to help inform your decision.

Encouraging Individuals to Enter Treatment

Potential clients may be reluctant to enter treatment for a variety of reasons. As a clinician, it’s helpful to understand the function behind their thoughts and the emotion they feel as a result.

Raising the Bar for the Field of CBT

Opening remarks from Dr. Judith Beck at the Beck Institute Excellence Summit, October 20, 2018.

PCOM Commencement Address – Dr. Judith Beck

A commencement message to graduates: Happiness is not something to strive for. It’s a by-product, if you’re lucky, of living a valued life that’s balanced and full of meaning.

Happy 2017, Beck Institute Community


I know, it’s February and perhaps a little late to wish everyone a happy New Year. But we are already running at a fast pace to make this another memorable year, and wanted to let you know what is ahead in 2017.

 

First, let’s talk about the amazing growth we experienced in 2016. As you know, the mission of the Beck Institute is to promote excellence in CBT around the world.  We accomplish this with workshops for individuals in Philadelphia and around the US, training for organizations around the world, and courses online.  2016 saw tremendous growth in each of these areas. 

Here are some highlights:

  • We launched our online programs, delivering over 2,000 courses to individuals in over 70 countries. 
  • We increased our work with organizations by 30%! 
  • We delivered our workshops On the Road in cities across the US, and on weekends, which meant less time missing work for attendees.

 

With 2017 underway, we expect another banner year.  Here are a few of the exciting things we have planned:

 


We established the Beck Institute over 20 years ago. In that time, we estimate that we’ve trained over 10,000 health and mental health professionals to improve their CBT skills. If those individuals had even 10 people on their caseload (and we know you have more), that is over 100,000 clients that have had the benefit of better therapeutic interventions. That’s what we’re about… better trained therapists mean more healthy people.

 

Could you take a few moments to complete our short, 3-question survey? It will help us design an array of training opportunities to suit your needs and the needs of professionals worldwide.

 

 

Sincerely,

Judith Beck

 

Using Rogerian Counseling Skills

img_8141You (the therapist) need to use all the basic Rogerian counseling skills. In other words, you need to be a nice human being in the room with the client and treat every client the way you’d like to be treated. And of course, therapists need to work on their own negative reactions to clients.

  • – Judith S, Beck, PhD
Why do we structure the session in the first place?

“Every minute in a session is precious, and we want to maximize the time we have to help clients learn to deal with the issues that are most important to them.”

Dr. Judith Beck

 

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My Inspiration for Writing the Basic and Advanced Books in CBT

Judy Headshot 2016By Judith S. Beck, PhD,

President, Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy

 

Guilford Publications asked me to reflect on my reasons for writing Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond and Cognitive Therapy for Challenging Problems: What to Do When the Basics Don’t Work, both of which Guilford first published in 1995 and 2005, respectively. Below is what I sent:

 

I remember the moment I conceived of writing CBT: Basics and Beyond. It was in the early 1990’s and I was presenting a workshop with my father, Dr. Aaron Beck, in California. Most of the workshop participants were familiar with his work but asked very basic questions. Again and again, I found myself surprised by what they didn’t know (e.g., how to conceptualize patients according to the cognitive model, structure a session, set an agenda, use Socratic questioning, handle homework challenges, ask for feedback). I realized they needed a basic book that could teach them these skills in a step-by-step format, with transcripts illustrating key therapeutic interventions. I had lots of automatic thoughts when writing the book (“People will think this is too simplistic,”), for which I used CBT techniques on myself to keep going. The book is now the basic text used by most graduate schools in all the mental health disciplines, in the United States and abroad.

 

I also remember when I conceived of writing Cognitive Therapy for Challenging Problems: What to do When the Basics Don’t Work and it traces back to the first book. When I was writing CBT: Basics and Beyond,  I had to continually separate material that was basic from material that was advanced–which made me realize that people would probably need a sequel to the basic text. I presented dozens and dozens of workshops on Cognitive Therapy for Challenging Patients and Cognitive Therapy for Personality Disorders in the years that followed. At each workshop, I asked participants to specify problems they had with some of their patients. (“What does the patient do or not do in session or between sessions that’s a problem? What does the patient say or not say that’s a problem?”) I soon had a very long list of problems. The challenge for me was in organizing the material I collected, and I had lots of false starts. It took me five years to determine how the book should best be structured. Once I figured this out, it took just another two years to complete the book.

 

I started off my career, not in psychology, but in education. Early on, I learned how to break down and explain complicated ideas and tasks for my young elementary school students who had learning disabilities. Through my books and workshops and other training activities, I believe I’ve been able to do the same for therapists who are learning and practicing CBT.

Dr. Aaron Beck’s 95th Birthday

Today, July 18, 2016, is Dr. Aaron Beck’s 95th birthday. At last week’s workshop, participants celebrated by signing ‘Happy Birthday” and hearing stories from Dr. Beck.

 

 

Part 1

We recommend beginning this video at 2:40

Part 2

 

 

Q&A with Dr. Judith Beck

What do you think is important for a young CBT therapist or researcher to know about the history of CBT?

Aaron Beck has always started with clinical material first, working with clients and generating hypotheses about his observations. He tests his hypotheses, refines his theories, and bases treatment on these theories, continually testing and improving the validity of his theories and the efficacy of treatment.  He continues to do so to this day, in his work with individuals with schizophrenia. Researchers should follow his lead, always treating clients to inform their work. And they should learn to treat clients outside of their specialty area, for example, clients with different ages, cultures, genders, diagnoses, and so on, so they can maintain a broad perspective.

 

 

What is in your opinion most exciting about CBT today?

There are many different directions the field is going in today, but I’ll just choose one, something that we’re heavily involved in at the Beck Institute: developing online training programs for therapists. So many mental health professionals throughout the world can’t afford existing training programs or can’t travel to attend workshops or conferences. With today’s technology, we can train many more mental health and health professionals in evidence-based treatments. So many more people, with a range of problems, can be helped.

 

 

Any predictions for the future? Will there be a place for CBT in the future?

Yes—and the treatment for certain disorders may look somewhat different from how it looks today, based on advances in research and technology. And I hope more people will adopt a different view of CBT. Many professionals believe that CBT is defined by its use of cognitive and behavioral strategies. But that’s too narrow a definition. CBT should be seen as a system of psychotherapy that is based on the cognitive model, not based on its use of certain techniques. In fact, with clients with personality disorders, we often adapt techniques from a range of psychotherapeutic modalities, used in the context of the cognitive model, such as strategies more commonly associated with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Positive Psychology, and a number of others. CBT will continue to be a major force in mental health treatment as long as research studies show equal or better outcomes for both treatment and relapse prevention.

Judith Beck